Hot Liquor Tank Details

Legacy 15 gallon stock pot converted to HLT


2 Weldless TC Bulkheads

This is an old stock pot that we picked up in the early days of brewing from the liquidation of some local restaurant supplies (with a lid that never quite fit). After years of being the primary boil kettle, it has now moved over and serves as the hot liquor tank. We drilled a couple holes and installed some screw tight TC bulkheads (from, I believe). These have never leaked and have worked perfectly. (we do support the riptide pump hanging off the drain valve with a makeshift stand, but it's a heavy pump)

Ball Valve with Pickup Tube

This addition of a simple EZ Clean ball valve with welded pickup tube works well. We're only ever pumping water here so there's very little to say. The hole in kettle for the drain valve is maybe 1/4" too high. The addition of a small piece of silicone tubing bridges the gap and helps get mostly all the water drained from the pot. As a note here, we preheat the mash tun with about 5 gallons of water before starting the brew. (see mash tun page for why) When we drain that into the MLT, what's left behind is, well, left behind. When we add strike water for heating, we can add the exact amount we need, as the amount that will be left, is already there.

Etched Volume Markings

If you do not know about this process, prepare to amaze your friends with magic. This uses some Q-Tips, a 9V battery, a bowl of vinegar water and something stainless steel. Stencils help too, unless you're a great freehand artist. you attach the postive side of the battery to the side of the kettle with tape, then wrap the negative side around the Q-Tip. Dip the swap in the vinegar solution and then touch to the part of the stainless you want to etch. I did not believe this would work, but it worked very well. Look up the details online and see for yourself. Note, there is a pretty tedious process of filling the vessel 1 gallon at a time, and then taping off and repeating to get accurate markings; but still totally worth the time and water. Note, if the pot has straight sides, you can tape off the first couple gallons (or quarts, or whatever) and then just measure the rest. Less accurate, but saves time and water.


The HLT has a thermometer port added so that the strike water, infusions and sparge additions are dialed in to the proper temperature. For a 5 gallon batch, our strike volumes can sometimes be around 3 to 3.5 gallons, so the thermometer port was placed low enough to be submerged with only about 3 gallons of water in the pot.